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Old 05-26-2009, 06:25 AM   #1
Hulamau
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History may show Smith as wise pick
The rookie cornerback out of Wake Forest is bringing brainpower to the Broncos.
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Posted: 05/26/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT

Had it been possible to cram Denver's football fans into a Wake Forest history class a few years back, there might be less critique of the Broncos for surrendering a future first-round draft pick in exchange for selecting Alphonso Smith in the second round.

Smith will get thoroughly tested as a rookie cornerback in the next three weeks as the Broncos open their "passing camp" today at Dove Valley.

The beauty of becoming a professional player is that academic distractions disappear.

Count on Smith to make a quick intellectual adjustment to pro ball. It was his sophomore year at Wake Forest and, unlike the stereotypical football player, Smith was serious about his class, "History of the United States since World War II."

According to classmate Michael Earls, Smith displayed the resourcefulness, ingenuity, confidence and even physical skill that made him the very definition of the term student-athlete.

"He was a very funny and nice guy throughout the semester, but I didn't really appreciate how awesome he was until the day of our exam," Earls said while sharing the story last month.

A week before the final, the class professor assigned 10 essay questions to study. Ten? Only one would be picked for the final by a dart throw. With his Demon Deacons preparing for an Orange Bowl meeting against Louisville and finals in other classes, Smith quickly figured studying nine essay topics for naught was a poor economical use of his time.

Earls studied all 10 essay topics, but on the day of the exam, Smith walked in with a cunning smile and tip for his classmates to place all focus on essay question No. 2. And for assurance, let him be the one to throw the dart.

"Everyone was freakin' out," Smith said. "They were like, 'Oh, my God, I need to pass this class.' I was like, 'Hey, I need to pass this class too.' I said, 'Don't worry about it, we're going to do No. 2.' "

No. 2 was Smith's football number at Wake Forest. He is wearing No. 33 with the Broncos after he was acquired through an eyebrow-raising draft trade last month.

Three years earlier, it was time for the final exam and the professor asked for a volunteer to throw the dart. Smith was unanimously chosen.

"He gave the class a little wink, stepped up and absolutely nailed the spot marked No. 2," Earls said.

Once the eruption rarely heard from a college history class had calmed, Smith announced his strategy to his professor and classmates. Rather than laboriously researching 10 topics, he picked the subject he knew best, studied it thoroughly and then practiced throwing darts all week.

Neither Earls or Smith could specifically remember the topic of essay question No. 2, only that it was comprehensively covered during the semester and they aced it. Smith wound up graduating with a degree in history.

"I was going to be a lawyer," Smith said. "Then I figured out I was pretty good in football."

Last month, the Broncos traded one of their two first-round picks in the 2010 draft to Seattle so they could take the 5-foot-9 Smith with the No. 37 overall selection in the second round.

Is Smith worth a first-round pick? Well, at Wake Forest he demonstrated an uncanny knack for making big plays. And that wasn't just in the classroom.

Mike Klis

Busy time for Broncos


Some key dates on the Broncos' remaining offseason schedule leading up to the regular season, the 50th in franchise history. Workouts are at the team's Dove Valley headquarters:

Passing camp (voluntary): Today-Friday, June 2-5, June 8-10

Minicamp (mandatory): June 12-14

Conditioning (voluntary): June 15-19, June 22-26

Training camp: Starts in late July


Preseason opener: Aug. 14 at San Francisco, 8 p.m.

Regular-season opener: Sept. 13 at Cincinnati, 11 a.m.

Regular-season home opener: Sept. 20 vs. Cleveland, 2:15 p.m.

Last edited by Hulamau; 05-26-2009 at 06:34 AM..
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:44 AM   #2
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I didn't realize its basically non stop mini-camps between today and June 26! These guys are going to be in good shape by training camp not only physically but in getting that system down and gaining familiarity with each other.

These next 4 weeks are a major part of how this season will go. Real progress now will help surprise a whole lot of people come this fall. Its one of the real perks of having every one write you off based on a lot of new faces a few unknowns and mostly looking in the rear view mirror. The pressure is not so much on this year as no once expects too much. Perfect scenario for coming out and kickin' some ass! May take a while to get going, but I have a feeling some of these teams that see us on the schedule and are things a bye week for them are in for a rude and competitive surprise.

I love it that so many people have a completely fixed snapshot in their minds of Denver's Defense as being EXACTLY like it was the past two years when most of the poor players from those teams are long gone, we have a near 50% turn over in players, and 100% turnover in both the Scheme and all of the D coaches with upgrades at every D coach position that I can tell!

But all these Einsteins have penciled the D in as lucky to be the 28th D in the league .. based on hot air!

Last edited by Hulamau; 05-26-2009 at 06:48 AM..
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:00 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hulamau View Post
I didn't realize its basically non stop mini-camps between today and June 26! These guys are going to be in good shape by training camp not only physically but in getting that system down and gaining familiarity with each other.

These next 4 weeks are a major part of how this season will go. Real progress now will help surprise a whole lot of people come this fall. Its one of the real perks of having every one write you off based on a lot of new faces a few unknowns and mostly looking in the rear view mirror. The pressure is not so much on this year as no once expects too much. Perfect scenario for coming out and kickin' some ass! May take a while to get going, but I have a feeling some of these teams that see us on the schedule and are things a bye week for them are in for a rude and competitive surprise.

I love it that so many people have a completely fixed snapshot in their minds of Denver's Defense as being EXACTLY like it was the past two years when most of the poor players from those teams are long gone, we have a near 50% turn over in players, and 100% turnover in both the Scheme and all of the D coaches with upgrades at every D coach position that I can tell!

But all these Einsteins have penciled the D in as lucky to be the 28th D in the league .. based on hot air!

What i want to see, is the D get better through out the year, and improve till the end of the season.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:13 AM   #4
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What i want to see, is the D get better through out the year, and improve till the end of the season.
Precisely, if we are playing solid competitive defense by the last half to quarter of the season instead of looking like Super Bowl Champs for the first 4 weeks of the year and a third-rate high school team the last 4 games I'll be happy as a clam! Whether we win all those last games or not.

Just make them a nail biter and show the makings of dominance going forward. Then we'll be fine for years to come.

I like the quality of guys McD is assembling plus the solid guys he kept from what we had. Not too many lazy whiners and 'me first' guys as far as I can see and that's a big plus for building a solid team from here on out.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:21 AM   #5
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Precisely, if we are playing solid competitive defense by the last half to quarter of the season instead of looking like Super Bowl Champs for the first 4 weeks of the year and a third-rate high school team the last 4 games I'll be happy as a clam! Whether we win all those last games or not.

Just make them a nail biter and show the makings of dominance going forward. Then we'll be fine for years to come.

I like the quality of guys McD is assembling plus the solid guys he kept from what we had. Not too many lazy whiners and 'me first' guys as far as I can see and that's a big plus for building a solid team from here on out.
That's all i want...if we are rebuilding i want to see improvement. I agree on the roster build up...i think it's an improvement.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:27 AM   #6
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That's a good anecdote on Smith. Hard not to like the guy after reading that. I'll be rooting hard for the move to get him to pay off.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:39 AM   #7
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Rather than laboriously researching 10 topics, he picked the subject he knew best, studied it thoroughly — and then practiced throwing darts all week.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:47 AM   #8
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About the article...

Foxworth was a really smart guy also, however, I feel like Smith plays smarter, more instinctively, and has a nose for the ball.

I will be surprised if Smith doesn't emerge as the starter across from Bailey sometime later in the season.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:47 AM   #9
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That's a good anecdote on Smith. Hard not to like the guy after reading that. I'll be rooting hard for the move to get him to pay off.
Its called creative problem solving and his dart throw idea showed a quick flexible mind that thinks outside the box. Not a bad asset to have for a corner back.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cmhargrove View Post
About the article...

Foxworth was a really smart guy also, however, I feel like Smith plays smarter, more instinctively, and has a nose for the ball.

I will be surprised if Smith doesn't emerge as the starter across from Bailey sometime later in the season.
Over Andre Goodman? I doubt it - although I do see Smith working his way in as the dime and probably nickel back.
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:15 PM   #11
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Over Andre Goodman? I doubt it - although I do see Smith working his way in as the dime and probably nickel back.
I think he'll start the season as our nickel or dime back
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:35 PM   #12
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I think he'll start the season as our nickel or dime back
I thought JMFW was supposed to be the shyt
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:37 PM   #13
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Its called creative problem solving and his dart throw idea showed a quick flexible mind that thinks outside the box. Not a bad asset to have for a corner back.
Also, he's really good at throwing darts. And has balls of brass.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:53 PM   #14
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History class?

Of course the prof was going to ask what he had allready covered.

History is just regugitation, unless asked a rhetorical question.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:11 PM   #15
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About the article...

Foxworth was a really smart guy also, however, I feel like Smith plays smarter, more instinctively, and has a nose for the ball.

I will be surprised if Smith doesn't emerge as the starter across from Bailey sometime later in the season.
except foxworth is lanky, has never showed the ability to turn his hips fluidly, and didn't have a ton of picks in college. He had 8 his whole career.

So really outside of the same position, they have nothing in common. Different body types, and obviously SMith played way better in college.
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:13 PM   #16
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I thought JMFW was supposed to be the shyt
Broncos IMO think Smith is special and on way higher level then guys like Jack WIlliams and Foxworthless.

If foxy was so good why did ATL then let him walk? Good corners worth what they would have had to give.

If all Smith does is be crap like Foxworth then yeah he's a bust.

He's got to do better then that.
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Old 05-26-2009, 05:24 PM   #17
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I think he'll start the season as our nickel or dime back
At this point, I would love to see a player who will play the nickel or dime and actually make some plays.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:51 PM   #18
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Its called creative problem solving and his dart throw idea showed a quick flexible mind that thinks outside the box. Not a bad asset to have for a corner back.
Meanwhile, Hulamau shows the keen ability of completely buying into an offseason fluff piece.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:53 PM   #19
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A top 10 pick turned nickleback....gotta love it
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:05 PM   #20
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Do you think we keep only 4 or 5 corners? I'm saying 5...
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:13 PM   #21
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It sucks but he will always be compared to what we could have gotten with that pick. If the Broncos blow up and its a pick in the 20's everything will be fine. If that turns out to be a franchise quarterback? It will be Ed REEEED all over again x100.
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:16 PM   #22
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the homerism is strong in this thread.
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:17 PM   #23
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It sucks but he will always be compared to what we could have gotten with that pick. If the Broncos blow up and its a pick in the 20's everything will be fine. If that turns out to be a franchise quarterback? It will be Ed REEEED all over again x100.
Denver traded the 38th pick for whatever they draft at this year...... I suppose if Denver is drafting at 20 and Smith is good then the 18 spots won't be a horrible price to pay, but if they traded a top 10 pick for a short CB drafted at 38 that will be all on McFailure. He is trying to show how smart he is when it looks like he is just going to wind up with egg on his face.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:19 PM   #24
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Denver traded the 38th pick for whatever they draft at this year...... I suppose if Denver is drafting at 20 and Smith is good then the 18 spots won't be a horrible price to pay, but if they traded a top 10 pick for a short CB drafted at 38 that will be all on McFailure. He is trying to show how smart he is when it looks like he is just going to wind up with egg on his face.
Why dont you actually wait to see what happens before you call him some dumb, uncreative nickname.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:21 PM   #25
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Why dont you actually wait to see what happens before you call him some dumb, uncreative nickname.
Dude, these tools can't stop with the poo-poo face names, now. They've fully invested themselves into hating the new coaching staff and players to such an extent that anything less than failure will make them look silly.

These people running around calling Broncos names, claiming to be fans NEED us to fail.

It's going to be great watching this team improve, and watching these ****ers squirm over the next few years. I'm sure they'll all have perfectly good excuses for making decisions before ever seeing a single snap.
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